<br /> Lee Letter: b192

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: Henry Laurens

My dear Sir,

I had the honor of writing to you by the last post, since which I am favored with yours of August the 31st for which I thank you. I have long since ceased to wonder at any determination of the Conclave, and I shall continue in the same state of mind until I hear that a certain set have quitted, or been removed from that assembly. It would otherwise have been a matter of surprise to me that a body of men representing that kind of government the corner stone of which is virtue, should discover so shameless a partiality as to commit for consideration the insulting memorial of a guilty man, and refuse the same respect to the application of the faithful servants of the public! And not only so, but to compliment guilt with a present of 10500 dollars of the peoples money. I shall be much obliged to you Sir for a copy of the ayes & nays on this money business. It is impossible that the industrious sensible part of the community can continue to submit to such abuse of their property. The account you give me of the sick bed calls to my mind the observation of Dr. Young

“A fever argues better than a Clarke.” but alas Sir, how quickly with returning health do bad men return to their vicious courses, forgetting the wise admonitions of a sick bed! I wish we could hear that the enemy have been compelled to quit Georgia, & this I doubt not will soon be the case, if it be true, as the papers inform us, that 2000 men from the Havannah were to attack Florida. We have it reported here that Count D’Esteing has taken Antigua – This is a great affair, if true, and must directly settle the business against our enemies on that quarter. At the same time that I cannot but regret your leaving Congress, I reflect with great pleasure on the happiness of seeing you here. I am, with the highest respect and esteem my dear Sir

your affectionate and obliged friend.

Richard Henry Lee

I understand that Braxton is gone to Congress – Surely a mere pecuniary compensation to the injured Portuguese cannot compensate for the injury offered to our national character in the eyes of foreigners –

Notes:

Laurens CorrespondenceLong Island Historical Society

Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 2, 1779 – 1794, pp. 149 – 50.